Shaun Marcum has missed nearly two months due with an elbow injury, but he’s finally getting closer to rejoining the Brewers’ starting rotation.
Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Marcum allowed one run over three innings tonight in his first rehab start with Class A Wisconsin. The only hit he allowed was a solo homer. He struck out three, walked none and threw 28 out of 36 pitches for strikes.
According to Brewers media relations director Mike Vassallo, Marcum will make his next rehab start Wednesday. Barring any setbacks, it’s possible he could be activated after that.
Marcum, 31, was 5-3 with a 3.39 ERA and 77/26 K/BB ratio in 82 1/3 innings through 13 starts prior to being placed on the disabled list. He is poised to hit free agency this offseason.
The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.
Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.